In early July I returned to the concrete surface of the Rantoul Aviation Center for the CCSCC’s “Cone Melter II” autocross event. The course was quite complex and I never felt like I put together a run where I did well in all sections. On my first run, I encountered the cold-braking issue in a high-deceleration zone. At this point I was all but certain the issue was the pads. The Dunlop tires were well scuffed in, and the brake fluid had just been changed. Apparently the pads are O.K. cold in a lower grip situation, but need a little heat to keep up with the maximum braking capabilities of the sticky new tires on a high-grip surface. I made small mistakes on various other sections of the course on my ensuing runs, including hitting a cone on my last run. I finished second in class to a well-driven Mazdaspeed 3, ahead of two drivers in a gorgeous Integra Type R. I was upbeat despite the loss because I felt I was starting to get more performance out of the car, if only in spurts. As the previous set of tires had aged and become unpredictable, I had developed a very conservative driving style to compensate for the instability. Thus far, I had carried that over with the new tires. At this event I dialed back in a bit of aggression on the later runs and overall the car responded positively. After applying the correction factors for my class and tires, I graded myself as 18th overall out of 83, just outside the 8oth percentile. Still not “National Caliber,” but improving and with some obvious direction for additional improvement.